Interesting facts about Orlando Florida
Interesting facts about Orlando Fl., air conditioning, heating, repair and service.
Orlando (pronounced /ɔrˈlændoʊ/) is a major city in the central region of the U.S. state of Fl. It is the county seat of Orange County and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan region. The Orlando metropolitan area has a population of 2,082,628 and it is the 27th largest metropolitan area in the United States, the 5th largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States, and the 3rd largest metro area in Fl. The city-proper population is 235,860 making Orlando the 80th largest city in the United States. It is Florida`s fifth largest city by population. Orlando was incorporated on July 31, 1875, and became a city in 1885.
Orlando and Orange County originally became the center of a major citrus growing region, and by the late 1890s was Florida`s largest inland city. Orlando is now a World City heavily urbanized with various industries. The area is a major tourist destination and is the home of Universal Orlando Resort, and SeaWorld Orlando. Lake Buena Vista, Fl., located 21 miles (34 km) southwest of downtown Orlando, is the home of Walt Disney World. These attractions form the backbone of Orlando`s tourism industry, making the city the first most visited American city in 2009. Like other major cities in the Sun Belt, Orlando grew rapidly during the 1980s and well into the first decade of the 21st century. Since the establishment of destination tourism in the 1970s, the local economy has diversified and today the region is the center of operations for companies servicing Central Florida. Orlando is also home to the University of Central Fl., the largest university campus by student enrollment in the state of Florida and the 2nd largest in the United States.
Before European settlers arrived in 1836, Orlando was sparsely populated by the Creek and other Native American tribes. There are very few archaeological sites in the area today, except for the ruins of Fort Gatlin along the shores of modern-day Lake Gatlin south of downtown Orlando. There are also some instances where construction projects will yield an arrowhead or musket bullet unearthed during excavation.
Prior to being known by its current name, Orlando was known as Jernigan. This originates from the first permanent settler, Aaron Jernigan, a cattleman who acquired land along Lake Holden by the terms of the Armed Occupation Act of 1842.
Local legend says the name Orlando originated from a soldier named Orlando Reeves who died in the area during the Second Seminole War. There are conflicting legends, however, as Orlando Reeves (sometimes Rees) operated a sugar mill and plantation about 30 miles (50 km) to the north at Spring Garden in Volusia County. Pioneer settlers simply found his name carved into a tree as "Orlando Acosta" and assumed it was a marker for his grave site. They then referred to the area as "Orlando`s grave" and later simply Orlando. According to written evidence, Orlando Acosta was also a soldier, but most details of his life are uncertain. A memorial beside Lake Eola designates the spot where the city`s namesake fell.
Another popular local legend says the city was named after one of the main characters in the Shakespeare play As You Like It. One of the main streets in downtown Orlando is named Rosalind Avenue, after Rosalind, the heroine of the play.
During the Second Seminole War, the U.S. Army established an outpost at Fort Gatlin, a few miles south of the modern downtown, in 1838, but it was quickly abandoned when the war came to an end. Most pioneers did not arrive until after the Third Seminole War in the 1850s. Many early residents made their living by cattle ranching.
After Mosquito County was divided in 1845, Orlando became the county seat of the new Orange County in 1856. It remained a rural backwater during the Civil War, and suffered greatly during the Union blockade. The Reconstruction Era brought on a population explosion, which led to Orlando`s incorporation as a town on July 31, 1875, and as a city in 1885.
The period from 1875 to 1895 is remembered as Orlando`s Golden Era, when it became the hub of Florida`s citrus industry. But the Great Freeze of 1894¯95 forced many owners to give up their independent groves, thus consolidating holdings in the hands of a few "citrus barons" who shifted operations south, primarily around Lake Wales in Polk County.
The Wyoming Hotel in c. 1905
Notable homesteaders in the area included the Curry family. Through their property in east Orlando flowed the Econlockhatchee River, which travelers crossed by fording. This would be commemorated by the street`s name, Curry Ford Road. Also, just south of the airport in the Boggy Creek area was 150 acres (0.61 km2) of property homesteaded in the late 19th century by the Ward family. This property is still owned by the Ward family, and can be seen from flights out of MCO southbound immediately on the south side of SR-417.
 After Industrial Revolution
Orlando, as Florida`s largest inland city, became a popular resort during the years between the Spanish-American War and World War I. In the 1920s, Orlando experienced extensive housing development during the Florida Land Boom. Land prices soared. During this period several neighborhoods in downtown were constructed, endowing it with many bungalows. The boom ended when several hurricanes hit Florida in the late 1920s, along with the Great Depression.
During World War II, a number of Army personnel were stationed at the Orlando Army Air Base and nearby Pinecastle Army Air Field. Some of these servicemen stayed in Orlando to settle and raise families. In 1956 the aerospace and defense company Martin Marietta (now Lockheed Martin) established a plant in the city. Orlando AAB and Pinecastle AAF were transferred to the United States Air Force in 1947 when it became a separate service and were re-designated as air force bases (AFB). In 1958, Pinecastle AFB was renamed McCoy Air Force Base after Colonel Michael N.W. McCoy, a former commander of the 320th Bombardment Wing at the installation, killed in the crash of a B-47 Stratojet bomber north of Orlando. In the 1960s, the base subsequently became home to the 306th Bombardment Wing of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), operating B-52 Stratofortress and KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft, in addition to detachment operations by EC-121 and U-2 aircraft.
Lucerne Circle in c. 1905
 Tourism in history
Perhaps the most critical event for Orlando`s economy occurred in 1965 when Walt Disney announced plans to build Walt Disney World. Although Disney had considered the regions of Miami and Tampa for his park, one of the major reasons behind his decision not to locate there was due to hurricanes— Orlando`s inland location, although not free from hurricane damage, exposed it to less threat than coastal regions. The vacation resort opened in October 1971, ushering in an explosive population and economic growth for the Orlando metropolitan area, which now encompasses Orange, Seminole, Osceola, and Lake counties. As a result, tourism became the centerpiece of the area`s economy. Orlando is consistently ranked as one of the top vacation destinations in the world, and now boasts more theme parks and entertainment attractions than anywhere else in the world.
Another major factor in Orlando`s growth occurred in 1962, when the new Orlando Jetport, the precursor of the present day Orlando International Airport, was built from a portion of the McCoy Air Force Base. By 1970, four major airlines (Delta Air Lines, National Airlines, Eastern Airlines and Southern Airways) were providing scheduled flights. McCoy Air Force Base officially closed in 1975, and most of it is now part of the airport. The airport still retains the former Air Force Base airport code (MCO).
 Present day
Lake Eola Park at Night
Today, the historic core of "Old Orlando" is resides in Downtown Orlando along Church Street, between Orange Avenue and Garland Avenue. Urban development and the Central Business District of downtown have rapidly shaped the downtown skyline during recent history. The present-day historic district is primarily associated with the neighborhoods around Lake Eola where century old oaks line brick streets. These neighborhoods, known as "Lake Eola Heights" and "Thornton Park" contain some of the oldest homes in Orlando.
 Geography and cityscape
Lake Eola in 1911
The geography of Orlando Fl. is mostly wetlands, consisting of many lakes and swamps. The terrain is generally flat, making the land fairly low and wet. The area is dotted with hundreds of lakes, the largest of which is Lake Apopka. Central Florida`s bedrock is mostly limestone and very pourous; the Orlando Fl. area is susceptible to sinkholes. Probably the most famous incident involving a sinkhole happened in 1981 in Winter Park, a city immediately north of downtown Orlando, dubbed ""The Winter Park Sinkhole".
There are 115 neighborhoods within the city limits of Orlando and many unincorporated communities. Orlando`s city limits resemble a checkerboard, with pockets of unincorporated Orange County surrounded by city limits. Such an arrangement can be cumbersome as some areas are served by both Orange County and the City of Orlando Fl.. This also explains Orlando`s relatively low city population when compared to its metropolitan population. The city and county are currently working together in an effort to "round-out" the city limits with Orlando annexing portions of land already bordering the current city limits.
Orlando has a warm and humid subtropical climate, Köppen climate classification Cfa, and there are two major seasons each year. One is hot and rainy, lasting from June until late September (roughly coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season). The other is the dry season (October through May) bringing more moderate temperatures and less frequent rainfall. The area`s warm and humid climate is caused primarily by its low elevation, its position relatively close to the Tropic of Cancer, and its location in the center of a peninsula. Many characteristics of its climate are a result of its proximity to the Gulf Stream, which flows around the peninsula of Florida.
During the height of Orlando`s humid summer season, temperatures rarely fall below 70 °F (21 °C), and daytime highs average in the 90s (32-37 °C). The area`s humidity acts as a buffer, usually preventing actual temperatures from exceeding 100 °F (38 °C), but also pushing the heat index to over 110 °F (43 °C). The city`s highest recorded temperature is 101 °F (38 °C), set July 2, 1998. During these months, strong afternoon thunderstorms occur almost daily. These storms are caused by air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean colliding over Central Florida. They are highlighted by spectacular lightning and can also bring heavy rain (sometimes several inches per hour) and powerful winds as well as occasional damaging hail.
During the cooler seasons, humidity is lower and temperatures are more moderate, and can fluctuate more readily. Average nighttime lows in January are around 50 °F (10 °C), and average daytime highs are about 72 °F (22 °C). Temperatures rarely dip below 32 °F (0 °C). Because the winter season is dry and rare freezing temperatures occur after cold fronts (and their accompanying precipitation) have passed, snow is exceptionally rare. The only accumulation ever to occur in the city proper since recordkeeping began was in 1948, though surrounding areas did accumulate 6" in a snow event in 1977. It is also likely that accumulations occurred in connection with the Great Blizzard of 1899. Trace flurries have also been observed in 1989 and 2010.
The average annual rainfall in Orlando Fl. is 48.35 inches (122.8 cm), most of it occurring in the period from June to September. The months of October through May are Orlando`s driest season. During this period (especially in its later months), there is often a wildfire hazard. During some years, fires have been severe. In 1998, a strong El Niño caused an unusually wet January and February, followed by drought throughout the spring and early summer, causing a record wildfire season that created numerous air quality alerts in Orlando Fl. and severely impacted normal daily life, including the postponement of that year`s Pepsi 400 NASCAR race in nearby Daytona Beach.
Orlando Fl. is a major population center and has a considerable hurricane risk, although it is not as high as in South Florida`s urban corridor or other coastal regions. Since the city is located 42 miles (68 km) inland from the Atlantic and 77 miles (124 km) inland from the Gulf of Mexico, hurricanes usually weaken before arriving. Storm surges are not a concern since the region is 100 feet (30 m) above sea level. Despite its location, the city does see strong hurricanes. During the notorious 2004 hurricane season, Orlando Fl. was hit by three hurricanes that caused significant damage, with Hurricane Charley the worst of these. The city also experienced widespread damage during Hurricane Donna in 1960.
Tornadoes are not usually connected with the strong thunderstorms of the summer. They are more common during the infrequent storms of winter, as well as in passing hurricanes. The two worst major outbreaks in the area`s history, a 1998 outbreak that killed 42 people and a 2007 outbreak that killed 21, both happened in February.
Metro Orlando Fl. has a total of 71 completed skyscrapers. The majority are located in Downtown Orlando and the rest are located in the tourist district southwest of downtown. Skyscrapers built in downtown Orlando Fl. have not exceeded 441 ft (134 m) since 1988 when SunTrust Center was completed. There has never been an official reason why, but local architects speculate restrictions imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, as the Orlando Executive Airport is located four miles (6 km) east of downtown Orlando.
 Downtown Orlando
View of Downtown Orlando Skyline from the North
Main article: List of tallest buildings in Orlando Fla.
* The SunTrust Center, 1988, 441 ft (134 m), is the tallest skyscraper in Central Fla.
* The Vue at Lake Eola, 2008, 426 ft (130 m) tall, but with 35 stories it has more stories than the SunTrust Center.
* The Orange County Courthouse, 1997, 416 ft (127 m).
* The Bank of America Center (Orlando) (Formerly Barnett Plaza),1988, 409 ft (125 m)
* 55 West on the Esplanade, 2009, 377 ft (115 m)
* Solaire at the Plaza, 2006, 359 ft (109 m)
* Dynetech Center, 2009, 357 ft (109 m)
* Citrus Center, 1971, 258 ft (79 m) was the first skyscraper constructed in Orlando Fla.
* Premier Trade Plaza Orlando, 2006, 256 ft (78 m)
* CNL Center City Commons, 1999, 250 ft (76 m)
* Downtown Orlando Fla. Information Center, 2008 located at Seaside Plaza across from the SunTrust Tower
 Outside Downtown Orlando Fla.
* Orlando International Airport ATC Tower, 2002, 346 ft (105 m)
* The SeaWorld SkyTower, 400 ft (122 m), was the tallest tower in Orange County outside Orlando`s city limits until surpassed by the Peabody.
* The Peabody Expansion Tower, Winter 2010, 428 ft (130 m), is the tallest tower in Orange County Fla. outside Orlando`s city limits.
Census Pop. %±
1900 2,481 −13.1%
1910 3,894 57.0%
1920 9,282 138.4%
1930 27,330 194.4%
1940 36,736 34.4%
1950 52,367 42.5%
1960 88,135 68.3%
1970 99,006 12.3%
1980 128,251 29.5%
1990 164,693 28.4%
2000 194,194 17.9%
2010 245,860 26.6%
U.S. Census Map
According to the 2006-2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, the racial composition of Orlando was follows:
* Non-Hispanic White: 44.7%
* Non-Hispanic Black: 26.9%
* American Indian: 0.7%
* Asian: 3.2%
* Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
* Some other race: 10.2%
* Two or more races: 2.1%
* Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 22.2%
As of the census of 2000, there were 185,951 people (2008 estimate counted 230,514 people), 80,883 households, and 42,382 families residing in the city. The population density was 767.9/km² (1,988.9/mi²). There were 188,486 housing units at an average density of 365.4/km² (946.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 61.10% White, 26.70% African American, 1.43% Asian, 0.34% Native American, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 5.41% from other races, and 2.54% from two or more races. 17.79% of the population was Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 80,883 households out of which 24.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.4% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.6% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.97.
In the city the population was spread out with 22.0% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 37.3% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,732, and the median income for a family was $40,648. Males had a median income of $30,866 versus $25,267 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,216. About 13.3% of families and 15.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 27.0% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.
Orlando Fla. is also home to one of the nation`s highest population percentage of LGBT people. According to a study by UCLA, 7.7% of Orlando`s population is gay, lesbian, or bisexual; and with 5.7% of the entire metropolitan population, it ranks 9th in the nation.
Orlando Fla. has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in Florida and their cultural impact on Central Florida is similar to that of the large Cuban population in South Florida. Orlando Fla. is home to the fastest growing Puerto Rican community in the country. Orlando Fla. also has a large and growing West Indian and Jamaican population.
As of 2000, 75.43% of all residents speak English as their first language, while 16.60% speak Spanish, 1.93% speak Haitian Creole, 1.33% speak French, and 0.99% of the population speak Portuguese as their mother language.
According to the American Community Survey, 69.3% of Orlando`s residents over the age of five spoke only English at home. Spanish-speakers represented 19.2% of Orlando`s population. Speakers of other Indo-European languages made up 9.0% of the city`s population. Those who spoke an Asian language made up 1.9% of the population, and speakers of other languages made up the remaining 0.6% of the populace.
 Metropolitan Statistical Area
Main article: Greater Orlando
Orlando is the hub city of the Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area, colloquially known as "Greater Orlando" or "Metro Orlando". The area encompasses four counties (Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake), and is currently the 27th-largest metro area in the United States with a 2007 Census-estimated population of 2,032,496.
In 2000, the population of Orlando`s urban area was 1,157,431, making it the 3rd largest in Florida and the 35th largest in the United States. As of 2009, the estimated Urban Area population of Orlando is 1,377,342.
When Combined Statistical Areas were instituted in 2000, Orlando was initially joined together with The Villages, Florida, Micropolitan Statistical Area, to form the Orlando-The Villages, Florida, Combined Statistical Area. In 2006, the metropolitan areas of Deltona (Volusia County) and Palm Coast (Flagler County) were added to create the Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, Florida, Combined Statistical Area. This new larger CSA has a total population (as of 2007) of 2,693,552, and includes three of the 25 fastest-growing counties in the nation—Flagler ranks 1st; Osceola, 17th; and Lake, 23rd.
Greater Orlando Metropolitan Area Apopka, Astatula, Mount Dora, Eustis, Tavares, Leesburg, The Villages Eatonville, Maitland, Altamonte Springs, Longwood, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, DeBary, Orange City, DeLand Winter Park, Casselberry, Oviedo, Winter Springs, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach, Ormond Beach
Windermere, Ocoee, Winter Garden, Clermont, Bushnell Union Park, Avalon Park, Chuluota, Bithlo, Christmas, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral
Lake Buena Vista, Celebration, Davenport, Winter Haven, Lakeland, Haines City Edgewood, Belle Isle, Kissimmee, Poinciana Saint Cloud, Harmony, Holopaw, Kenansville, Yeehaw Junction, Melbourne, Palm Bay
Zip Codes 32801, 32802, 32803, 32804, 32805, 32806, 32807, 32808, 32809, 32810, 32811, ...